First impressions count: your interview

According to many sources, it takes seven seconds to make a first impression; and the old saying “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” couldn’t be truer in this case.

Attending a job interview can be daunting – but we are here to help advise how you can use those first seven seconds to your advantage.

  1. Dress Accordingly

In terms of first impressions, the way you dress/present yourself plays a huge part in the whole process. There is no one answer for what to wear during an interview, so when deciding, you should take in to consideration the company’s culture… is it business dress or smart-casual?

If you’re going to a creative marketing agency with all the employees wearing jeans and flip-flops and you turn up in a suit, it may make you feel uncomfortable and stop you from performing the best you could. Do your research!

Regarding piercings – it depends on the company’s culture. If you’re going for a creative role the view can be more relaxed. However, if you’re going for a job in a more corporate environment the outlook may be more conservative.

Either play it safe and reduce the impact of facial piercings for the interview (in the same way you would wear a suit to an interview but not necessarily for the job). Or check the company’s policy with your recruiter or hiring manager prior.

  1. Manners

The way you act tells a great deal to an employer.  If you’re polite and kind, it says that you get along with people and you have a respect for colleagues. They will immediately begin to envisage you working amongst the team and whether you would fit in.

Things to do when meeting your potential interviewer:

  • Nice big smile.
  • Firm hand shake.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Make it personal: use their name in a sentence.
  • Be friendly to everyone: the waitress, the receptionist, the cleaner, even the office dog!
  • Listen – instead of rehearsing what you’re going to say before they finish their sentence.
  • It sounds obvious…but don’t swear!
  • Lastly, be grateful; always thank them for their time.
  1. Relax & Build Rapport

I know it sounds obvious, and it’s easier said than done, but being relaxed makes a huge difference in the interview process. If you are nervous it can take away from your overall performance and can result in a rather awkward experience for all involved. Try to be at peace with your body; but also remember it is perfectly normal to be a little bit nervous, you don’t want to do a complete 360 and be overly confident.

Secondly, try to build rapport with your interviewer, the ability to demonstrate genuine interest in a role and organisation in a friendly, relaxed way ensures that the interview starts on a positive note – which brings us on to point number four.

  1. Be Memorable

Dressing appropriately, having exceptional manners, being relaxed and finding common ground are all a great start to the interview; however, the chances are the company will be talking to other candidates. This interview is your chance to create a great impression, so you’ll need ‘go that extra mile’ and prepare additional information that will ensure memorability.

Here are some of our tips on how to stand out:

  • Research the company thoroughly – including the website and all their social media platforms.
  • Be authentic, try not to fall into the overly formal ‘interview persona’ and be yourself.
  • Showcase your achievements, whether you have your own company or website or just some amazing examples of campaigns you have run.
  1. Finishing Touches
  • In addition to all of this, remember to ask questions! Write some beforehand or think as the interview progresses.
  • Send an email thanking the employer for their time.
  • Practise with your friends or family to ensure you are 100% happy with your preparation.

Written by Isabelle Peters – Marketing Assistant

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